Grace Kelly (1983)

Discreetly filmed during Monaco’s mourning period and aired five months after the accident that took her life, Grace Kelly is a reverential presentation of the actress’ life up until her marriage to Prince Rainer. Reverential that is, to the point of tedium.

 

After an odd credit sequence featuring Christina Applegate, the film quickly establishes one of its primary themes by contrasting sequences of a young Grace Kelly acting in school plays while the rest of her family play sport. Hrumphing his way through the role of Grace Kelly’s father, Lloyd Bridges thoughtlessly belittles his daughter’s achievements at every turn, be it soap commercials, Broadway plays or an Oscar-winning performance in The Country Girl. By the time the obligatory “I was proud of you all along” scene finally materializes, it rings hollow.

 

Contributing to the lack of emotional pay-off is Cheryl Ladd’s depiction of Grace Kelly. Despite being considered an ice-queen, particularly in her movies with Hitchcock, Kelly’s enduring reputation emanates from her ability to hint at what lay beneath that cold exterior. Though she looks the part, Ladd provides no such mystery. It is a superficial portrayal that runs only skin-deep.

 

Despite end credits gratefully acknowledging the assistance of Princess Grace of Monaco in the preproduction of the film, Grace Kelly was quoted as considering the planned project as “rather icky and revolting”. 

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According to People magazine, Princess Grace of Monaco was not happy by the script’s misleading portrayal of her as a sickly teenager as she was, like the rest of her family, quite athletic.

Biopic includes several scene recreations from Grace Kelly’s short film career, including High Noon, Mogambo, The Country Girl, The Swan and the second of her three films with Hitchcock, Rear Window.

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